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5 things to know for February 25: Weinstein, coronavirus, Dems, Hosni Mubarak – CNN

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Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer whose alleged abusive behavior brought the #MeToo movement into the mainstream, was found guilty of two felony sex crimes yesterday at his trial in New York. A jury convicted Weinstein of criminal sexual act and rape based on the accounts of two women. He was acquitted of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault and rape in the first degree. The verdict is being hailed as a critical turning point for the #MeToo movement — his accusers called it “just a drop in a wave of justice to come.”  The movie mogul faces at least five years and up to more than two decades in prison and is set to be sentenced March 11. While on his way to jail, Weinstein was taken to a hospital after feeling chest pains and having heart palpitations. He also faces charges of sexual assault and rape in separate incidents in Los Angeles.

2. Coronavirus

Outbreaks of the novel coronavirus outside mainland China are getting worse. South Korea now has more than 970 cases of the virus. A week ago, that number was 31. Elsewhere in the world, Italy has more than 220 infections, with seven deaths so far, and Iran has reported at least 60 cases and 14 deaths. US officials have issued travel warnings for all three countries. Worries about the virus are also wreaking havoc on global markets. US stocks plunged 1,000 points yesterday, and some Asian markets saw declines, too. More than 80,000 people around the world have been sickened by the virus, and about 2,700 have died. Experts have yet to label the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, but they could be close.

3. Election 2020

The Democratic presidential candidates will grace the debate stage yet again tonight, this time in South Carolina ahead of the state’s primary on Saturday. Polls show Sen. Bernie Sanders within striking distance of former Vice President Joe Biden in South Carolina, the latest evidence that Sanders’ momentum is broad and real. It’s a development that should worry Biden, who has largely been counting on the state’s black voters to give him the momentum he needs going into Super Tuesday next week. Now that Sanders has cemented himself as the front-runner in the race, his moderate rivals are turning their attacks on him. Though last week’s debate saw the candidates go after former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, expect the heat to be on Sanders this time. The debate, hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, begins at 8 p.m. ET.

4. Malaysia

Malaysia has descended into political chaos after the country’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned yesterday and his party exited the ruling coalition. Despite turning in his letter of resignation, though, Mahathir has managed to hang onto the job after the King appointed him interim Prime Minister, and he’s likely to form a new government within a few days. Still, negotiations could continue through the week, and the country could be on track for a snap election at some point soon. The surprise announcement comes after speculation that the 94-year-old leader was trying to form a new ruling coalition that would exclude his promised successor, Anwar Ibrahim. The two have a complicated relationship that goes back decades. It’s unclear who the next prime minister will be or whether general elections will be held.

5. Hong Kong

A Chinese court has sentenced Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai to 10 years in prison for “providing intelligence” overseas. According to a court statement, Gui pleaded guilty to the charge and said he would not appeal. Gui, 55, was one of five Hong Kong-based booksellers who went missing in late 2015, before resurfacing in Chinese police custody. The booksellers were all linked to a Hong Kong publisher best known for gossipy titles about China’s ruling elite. Months after Gui went missing, he appeared on Chinese state television in 2016 confessing to an alleged drunken driving incident more than a decade earlier. Many human rights advocates believed he had been coerced into making the statement. Gui was released in 2017, only to be detained by China again a few months later. His case is likely to reignite global condemnation of how Beijing treats its critics.

THIS JUST IN …

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has died
The leader who ruled Egypt for 30 years before he was overthrown in 2011 in a popular uprising, has died at 91, according to state media. Follow world reaction to his death here.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Katherine Johnson, famed NASA mathematician and inspiration for the film ‘Hidden Figures,’ has died
Johnson, often called a “human computer,” was part of a group of brilliant black women who made US space travel possible. She was 101.
Marijuana use is rising sharply among seniors over 65, study says
2 cheetah cubs were born for the first time by IVF
The huge breakthrough offers hope for the vulnerable species.
5 hikers were rescued on their way back from the ‘Into the Wild’ bus
After all the horror stories, you’d think people would stay away.
United Airlines gives $90,000 in vouchers for downgrading passengers
The ‘Leaning Tower of Dallas’ nears its end
Farewell, fair building. We hardly knew ye.

TODAY’S NUMBER

The age of the oldest living man, Chitetsu Watanabe, who just died in Japan. He said the secret to living a long life was “not to get angry and keep a smile on your face.” 

TODAY’S QUOTE

“God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. I got Nati, BiBi and KoKo, and we’re still the best team.”
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow and mother of 13-year-old Gigi, speaking at their memorial service in Los Angeles

TODAY’S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

These kids will bring a smile to your face
A photographer dressed black children as icons such as Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali for a Black History Month campaign in 2013, and the project is still going strong. In this edition, meet little Don Lemon, April Ryan and Andrew Gillum, among others. (Click here to view.)

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This 130 million-year-old ichthyosaur was a 'hypercarnivore' with knife-like teeth – Livescience.com

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You wouldn’t want to meet an ichthyosaur while taking a dip in the early Cretaceous seas. That goes double for Kyhytysuka sachicarum: This newly identified 130 million-year-old marine reptile, now known from fossils in central Colombia, had larger, more knife-like teeth than other ichthyosaur species, a new study finds — and that is saying something, as ichthyosaurs are famous for their long, toothy snouts. 

These big teeth would have enabled K. sachicarum to attack large prey, such as fish and even other marine reptiles. 

“Whereas other ichthyosaurs had small, equally sized teeth for feeding on small prey, this new species modified its tooth sizes and spacing to build an arsenal of teeth for dispatching large prey,” paleontologist Hans Larsson of McGill University’s Redpath Museum in Montreal, Canada, said in a statement.

Related: Fossilized ‘ocean lizard’ found inside corpse of ancient sea monster

One toothy family  

Ichthyosaurs were a large group of marine predators that first evolved during the Triassic period around 250 million years ago from land-dwelling reptiles that returned to the sea. The last species went extinct about 90 million years ago during the late Cretaceous. With long snouts and large eyes, they looked a bit like swordfish. Most species had jaws lined with small, cone-shaped teeth that were good for snagging small prey. 

The newly identified species was likely at least twice as long as an adult human, based on the size of the fossils that have been found (most of a skull and a few pieces of spine and ribs). Probable ichthyosaur fossils were first unearthed in Colombia in the 1960s, but researchers couldn’t agree on the species or precisely how ichthyosaurs from the region were related to others from the same time period. 

For the new study, Larsson and his colleagues focused on a skull kept in the collections of Colombia’s Museo Geológico Nacional José Royo y Gómez, and also considered another partial skull and bones from the spine and ribcage kept at Colombia’s Centro de Investigaciones Paleontológicas. Larsson and his colleagues announced the discovery and name of the marine reptile Nov. 22 in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology

Image 1 of 5

Here, an image and anatomical interpretation of the skull of Kyhytysuka sachicarum. (Image credit: Dirley Cortés)
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Skeleton of the extinct ichthyosaur Kykytysuka compared to a human for scale.

Skeleton of the extinct ichthyosaur Kykytysuka compared to a human for scale. (Image credit: Dirley Cortés)
Image 3 of 5

This life reconstruction of Kyhytysuka sachicarum from the early Cretaceous of Colombia shows the swordfish-like reptile.

This life reconstruction of Kyhytysuka sachicarum from the early Cretaceous of Colombia shows the swordfish-like reptile. (Image credit: Dirley Cortés)
Image 4 of 5

This life reconstruction of Kyhytysuka sachicarum from the early Cretaceous of Colombia shows the swordfish-like reptile.

This life reconstruction of Kyhytysuka sachicarum from the early Cretaceous of Colombia shows the swordfish-like reptile. (Image credit: Dirley Cortés)
Image 5 of 5

This life reconstruction of Kyhytysuka sachicarum from the early Cretaceous of Colombia shows the swordfish-like reptile.

This life reconstruction of Kyhytysuka sachicarum from the early Cretaceous of Colombia shows the swordfish-like reptile. (Image credit: Dirley Cortés)

“We compared this animal to other Jurassic and Cretaceous ichthyosaurs and were able to define a new type of ichthyosaurs,” Erin Maxwell of the State Natural History Museum of Stuttgart, Germany, said in the statement. “This shakes up the evolutionary tree of ichthyosaurs and lets us test new ideas of how they evolved.”

Marine predator 

The researchers named the new ichthyosaur species  Kyhytysuka, meaning “the one that cuts with something sharp” in the language of the Indigenous Muisca culture  of Colombia.. There are other species of ichthyosaur with big teeth for catching large prey, the researchers wrote in the study, but those species are from the early Jurassic, at least 44 million years earlier than K. sachicarum. 

The new species lived at a time when the supercontinent Pangea was breaking up into two landmasses — one southerly and one northerly — and when Earth was warming and sea levels were rising. At the end of the Jurassic, the seas underwent an extinction upheaval, and deep-feeding ichthyosaur species, marine crocodiles and short-necked plesiosaurs died out. These animals were replaced by sea turtles, long-necked plesiosaurs, marine reptiles called mososaurs that looked like a mix between a shark and a crocodile, and this huge new ichthyosaur, said study co author Dirley Cortés of McGill’s Redpath Museum. 

“We are discovering many new species in the rocks this new ichthyosaur comes from,” Cortés said in the statement. “We are testing the idea that this region and time in Colombia was an ancient biodiversity hotspot and are using the fossils to better understand the evolution of marine ecosystems during this transitional time.”

Originally published on Live Science

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Kyhytysuka: A pure carnivorous `fish lizard` from 130 million years ago discovered – WION

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The 130-million-year-old hypercarnivore Kyhytysuka, often known as the “Fish Lizard,” has been unearthed.

A remarkable 130-million-year-old swordfish-shaped marine reptile fossil reveals the emergence of hypercarnivory in these last-surviving ichthyosaurs.

A group of multinational researchers from Canada, Colombia, and Germany have unearthed a new prehistoric marine reptile.

The specimen is a brilliantly preserved meter-long skull from one of the few remaining ichthyosaurs — prehistoric beasts that look alarmingly like live swordfish. 

According to researchers, this new species reveals the entire picture of ichthyosaur evolution.

This species, according to experts, originates from a crucial transitional era in the Early Cretaceous.

The Earth had emerged from a comparatively cold phase, sea levels were increasing, and Pangea, the supercontinent, had been split into northern and southern territory.

There were additional worldwide extinction events near the end of the Jurassic, which altered marine and terrestrial ecosystems. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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Scientists in Chile discover fossils from dinosaur with 'unique' tail – TRT World

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The new species has something never seen before on any animal: seven pairs of “blades” laid out sideways like a slicing weapon.

The tail was covered with seven pairs of osteoderms, producing a weapon absolutely different from anything we know in any dinosaur.
(AFP)

Scientist have announced that fossils found in Chile are from a strange-looking dog-sized dinosaur species that had a unique slashing tail weapon.

Chilean paleontologists on Wednesday presented their findings on a dinosaur discovered three years ago in Patagonia which they said had a highly unusual tail that has stumped researchers.

“The tail was covered with seven pairs of osteoderms … producing a weapon absolutely different from anything we know in any dinosaur,” said Alexander Vargas, one of the paleontologists, during a presentation of the discovery at the University of Chile.

“That was the main surprise,” Vargas added. “This structure is absolutely amazing.”

The osteoderms – structures of bony plaques located in the dermal layers of the skin – were aligned on either side of the tail, making it resemble a large fern.

The remains of the Stegouros elengassen were discovered during excavations in 2018 at Cerro Guido, a site known to harbor numerous fossils, by a team who believed they were dealing with an already known species of dinosaur until they examined its tail.

Biogeographic link

Paleontologists have discovered 80 percent of the dinosaur’s skeleton and estimate that the animal lived in the area 71 to 74.9 million years ago. It was about two metres (almost seven feet) long, weighed 150 kilograms (330 pounds) and was a herbivore. 

According to the scientists, who published their research in the journal Nature, the animal could represent a hitherto unknown lineage of armored dinosaur never seen in the southern hemisphere but already identified in the northern part of the continent.

“We don’t know why (the tail) evolved. We do know that within armored dinosaur groups there seems to be a tendency to independently develop different osteoderm-based defense mechanisms,” said Sergio Soto, another member of the team.

The Cerro Guido area, in the Las Chinas valley 3,000 km (1,800 miles) south of Santiago, stretches for 15 kilometers. Various rock outcrops contain numerous fossils.

The finds there allowed the scientists to surmise that present-day America and Antarctica were close to each other millions of years ago.

“There is strong evidence that there is a biogeographic link with other parts of the planet, in this case Antarctica and Australia, because we have two armored dinosaurs there closely related” to the Stegouros, said Soto.

READ MORE:
‘Hell Heron’: England’s Isle of Wight home to two new dinosaurs species

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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